Metro approves $4.14 million for more open streets events like CicLAvia

Every couple of weeks, cars that usually clog the streets of Southern California are replaced with residents on bikes — and now, folks will have more chances to participate. Metro announced Monday that it’s setting aside over $4 million to fund 17 open streets events, like CicLAvia, across Los Angeles County.

The purpose is to get people out of their cars and onto another form of transportation, Metro spokesman Dave Sotero told KPCC.

“They may be riding these streets for the very first time. Because unless there’s a bike lane on a particular street, these streets are taken up by automobiles on a daily basis,” he said.

Metro already funds the biggest open streets program in the country, he added.  This would be the second round of events that they’ve backed. The first round funded 10 events that covered a total 68 miles.

While giving Angelenos an opportunity to see the city through a new lens, Sotero said, the decision to provide these funds also tries to address some of the congestion and pollution that the city faces.

Whether the increase in these events tangibly alleviates pollution numbers is unknown — but it does boost ridership on local light rail trains and buses.

During previous open streets events, ridership has increased an average of 10 percent, according to Sotero. They’ve also seen a slight surge in the sales of single and 30-day passes when the streets are car-free.

“We do see a tangible benefit from introducing open streets that connect well with the transit system within the county,” he said.

The new events are set to happen by December 2018 in West Hollywood, Glendale, Whittier, San Pedro and other communities. Here’s a map of all the planned events:

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